American Kids TV Shows Vs British Kids TV Shows

American Kids TV Shows Vs British Kids TV Shows

happy the simpsons GIF

We’ve talked a lot about the differences between the United States and our beloved United Kingdom family. Food, houses, traditions… we’ve pretty much touched on it all! There is one thing, however, I’ve failed to compare one of the most important things we have in common; Children’s TV shows!

We all watched them growing up, and we all wish we could get away with still watching them now (I know I do). But while we were sitting down to watch classics such as Sesame Street and The Mickey Mouse Club, what were our friends from across-the-pond watching?

Well folks, keep scrolling to find out!

1. In America, there were ADORABLE teenage romances, just like Cory and Topanga’s in Boy Meets World.

And what a romance it was! Who could forget the moment they finally kissed in front of Walt Disney World’s Epcot ball? So magical.
saved by the bell zack and kelly GIF
Same goes for when Zack and Kelly from Saved By The Bell first got it together.
sabrina the teenage witch GIF
And how can I not mention one of the cutest relationships of all; Sabrina and Harvey from Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

Meanwhile, in Britain, Tracy Beaker kissed a boy named Wilson by the “bog” while her sworn enemy Justine Littlewood watched.

Context: For anyone who isn’t aware, “Bog” is British slang for a restroom. Er… not quite the Epcot ball, but, still pretty magical… I guess?
00s GIF
“The Story of Tracy Beaker” was based on a children’s book of the same name written by UK author Jaqueline Wilson
laura ingalls wilder GIF
Tracy was a mischevious child who was placed in a care home at a young age. She makes up wild stories about her “Movie Star Mum” and as you can probably tell… get’s into even wilder situations IRL. But gosh darn do those Brits love her!

2. In America, TV for little kids was wholesome, educational and a most importantly…  a whole lot of fun!

Who didn’t love waking up to watch these two fun-loving guys and the rest of their “street crew” throw down every day, in and educational way?

sesame street lets go outdoors GIF by Jason Mraz

Sesame Street was, and pretty much still is, the kids show to watch. Not only did you have a great time watching it, but you also learned some very valuable lessons along the way too.

benedict cumberbatch GIF

Not to mention all the incredibly famous friends they all had, who often made appearances on everybody’s favorite street. Personally, I’m still waiting for my invite!

In Britain however, kids spent their time watching crazy little dancing blobs that were once accused of cultish tendencies…. and then some. It was a whole different ballgame.

The BoohBahs were honestly so trippy.So apparently these things are called “BoohBahs”, and they all used to fly around in circles together making different musical notes. Oh and also they were creepy as hell.


Image result for in the night garden gifs

These… whatever-they-ares are from a series called “In the Night Garden”, and if you think they’re funny looking you should search for the rest of the characters… I can’t help but parents in Britain didn’t like their kids too much.

wave goodbye GIF by KiKA

Not to mention these little guys, who had tv screens implanted into their stomachs and lived underground with a talking hoover eating nothing but pinkish gloop. Er, yummy.


3. In America, kids being taught to listen and be respectful of each other by a big, purple, cuddly dinosaur.

BARNEY! I loooooved Barney, that big, majestic loveable friendly dinosaur. Also, he always rocked that color.

the good dinosaur GIF

Barney made friends wherever he went and taught us all how to love and respect each other, even today we could still learn a lot from him. One of the most iconic kids show TV characters in the history of the world ever!

In Britain, children were being taught to get physical revenge on the adults in their lives by literally dunking them in… gunge. GUNGE!

Meanwhile, in Britain… kids were being taught how to get revenge on their parents in the absolute messiest way possible.

And also, as it would appear while making them look as ridiculous as possible too.

Well, one thing is for sure, it definitely looks like the kids got the revenge they wanted!

4. In America, a talking aardvark lived a lovely, pure life with his friends and always manage to learn a lot along the way.

Ahhhh Arthur, I still find myself humming that incredibly catchy tune when I’m walking down the street… obviously.

arthur GIF
I loved watching what innocent scrapes and mishaps they were going to get into next… remember when they thought Mr. Ratburn was a vampire!? Good times.
90s nerd GIF by chuber channel
Okay so maybe I lost a few friends for constantly singing this song… but hey, if they couldn’t appreciate a library then I just don’t want them as friends anyway!

While In Britain, a middle-aged man lived a kind of, well, pretty pathetic life talking to his rodents and eating nothing but mashed potato.

In Britain, they were watching a cute furry animal as well…
badger GIF
…and the slightly strange man who lived with him and constantly fed him “mashed potatoes”.
90s kid GIF
This series did have it’s own pretty catchy theme song though. Hey, whatever floats your boat Brits!

5. In America, a teenage girl lived out our wildest dreams as she became an undercover superstar.

Hannah Montana? Never heard of her! …*tries desperately not to burst out into the chorus of “Nobody’s Perfect”*

hannah montana GIF
Who could forget the secret-lifed popstar who everyone envied for years upon years? More importantly, who could forget all of her absolute anthems.
miley cyrus smile GIF
The whole world fell under the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus spell, and the show gave birth to a whole new genre of Disney TV show.

Meanwhile, kids in Britain were definitely not living the dream and pretended they were evacuated in World War II instead.

And in Britain, they were… classically… living a whole different kind of double life.

That’s right, while we were watching Hannah Montana living out our wildest childhood dreams, the kids in the UK were living out their ancestors worst nightmare.

In the series “Evacuation”, the Brits watched as children from schools all over the country re-enacted what it felt like to be a child during World War II… yeah… give me a microphone and a sparkly outfit any day!

6. In America, two kids got to live in a big, fancy hotel and caused an abundance of mischief.

And once again in America we watched as two young boys lived out yet another of our wildest childhood fantasies… living in a HOTEL. WAHHHHH!

life GIF

It’s actually pretty amazing to think about how much trouble they actually got into considering they lived in such a limited and guarded space.

zack GIF

But either way, we just couldn’t get enough. Also, I know I’m not the only one who had the BIGGEST crush on the Sprouse Twins, especially Dylan… or was it Cole… well, either way, they were just so darn cute.

While weirdly in Britain, every weekend a group of kids would go round to a bungalow in order to play with two grown men, often involving something called “creamy creamy muck muck”… WHAT?

And then, of course, we have Britain…. who were kind of watching an erm, similar sort of show.

However, instead of a fancy hotel, these kids lived in a Bungalow. And instead of living with an array of quirky hotel staff, they lived with erm, two grown men.

See? Basically exactly like The Suite Life. But with a lot more “creamy muck muck”, whatever the hell that is.

7. In America, it seemed the country was filled with schools where the kids would sing and dance all day in order to fulfil their life-long dreams of stardom.

Kids growing up in this era must have been incredibly disappointed when they eventually got to high school and realised that at no point will a mass sing-and-dance-along break out in the hallway.

High School Musical GIF

But that still didn’t mean we enjoyed watching it on tv every. single. day. any less.

demi lovato GIF

I know I still have my “Wild Cats” binder and matching stationary stashed away somewhere. Go Wild Cats!

Unfortunately, in Britain, there were more real-life schools where kids were just trying to make it through their tragic lives while passing their GCSEs (Very important high school exams in the UK).

It probably won’t come as a surprise to you when a tell you that singing and dancing definitely wasn’t going on in the hallways of British schools… not even on TV.

Instead, kids were just trying to make it through the day without being punched or insulted.

Every day there was another bully, another scandal and lots of homework… and absolutely no cheerleaders in sight. Talk about two different worlds!

8. In America, a cute and curious girl pretended to be a vampire in order to “catch bad guys”.

Mona the Vampire was an amazingly understated cartoon character.

She solved crimes with her best friends while dressed as a Vampire, I mean, what’s not to love about that?

She taught kids about curiosity and adventure… but most importantly, how to have fun and be creative without having to be glued to a computer game!

Whereas in Britain, a bunch of teens went in search of UFOs and ended up in a CRAZY government conspiracy…. classic stuff Britain.

Aaaaaand in Britain they watched as a group of friends searched for UFO’s and tried to uncover government conspiracy theories.

Don’t they look like they’re having heaps and heaps of fun!?

I’ve never personally seen this myself, but I have heard a lot of things about it from my UK friends who have said, and I quote; “It is literally the most terrifying thing I have ever watched… and I’ve seen the exorcist”.

9. In America, there was The Mickey Mouse Club, where teeny tiny celebrities would enthusiastically perform your favorite songs under the influence of a magical mouse.

I bet you’ve been waiting for this one to show up on here! The Mickey Mouse Club was basically the original Hannah Montana.

mickey mouse club GIF

Say what you want about “The Mouse”… but he sure knew how to pick talent… do you recognize any of these cherub faces?

mickey mouse club GIF
Although we never got the dream Justin/Britney well all truly wanted (and, let’s be honest, deserved), we sure as hell loved watching these two perform together every week as children.

And in Britain, there was Byker Grove, which was certainly a different kind of club entirely. It included drug abuse, pregnancy, and a whole lot of joyriding… to name a few.

Byker Grove was a teenage-orientated series about children aged 8-11 who were all part of an after-school club.

So… it was a club, but nothing like the innocence of The Mickey Mouse Club we all know and love. It did produce quite some talent in a similar way, however. The two boys above on the left, well they’re currently two of Britains most famous tv-hosting duo, Ant & Dec.

They look happy enough here, but I’ve watched an episode of Byker Grove before and let me tell you, it is an absolute rollercoaster of a show.

10. In America, they had wizards living in the real world, leading “normal” lives, while learning to harness their magic powers.

Another Disney show made possible by the success of Hannah Montana, with one of our all-time favorite Disney stars, Selina Gomez.

selena gomez spell GIF

Let’s be honest, this show was basically America’s (albeit weak) answer to Harry Potter

selena gomez GIF

But we still couldn’t get enough of it, either way, I mean come on, who didn’t want to be a wizard back then?

In Britain, there was a magical, tiny replica car called Brum, who clearly didn’t give one damn about his carbon footprint.

And back to yet another terrifying British kids TV show; “Brum”

It was magical, yes. What can be more magical than a car that’s alive and drives around the town helping the locals?

The Brits absolutley adore Brum, and I guess once you get used to him he is actually kind of cute… I’m not exactly sure who would fit in him though.

11. In America, Dora the Explorer took you on whimsical adventures with her friends, and also taught you Spanish.

Dora the Explorer was a fantastic show. Fun, colorful and educational too! It was the whole package.

dora the explorer GIF

Dora taught kids from all over the world how to be a safe adventurer, while at the same time learning Spanish.

dora the explorer GIF
I wish a show like this had been around when I was a kid! The Spanish would certainly come in handy these days.

And finally, in Britain, two sentient puppets took you on a magical, whimsical tour of British canals… and gave off some weird incest vibes in the process.

The Brits sure did love their puppet TV shows, there’s no denying that! And why wouldn’t they? These two are adorable!

jim rosie GIF

Rosie and Jim sailed around the beautiful canals of England with their friend Duck, discovering new people and places.

They only came to life when nobody was looking and logged all their secret adventures in Jim’s notebook. Possibly the purest British TV to make it on the list, but I can understand why this was such a big hit… finally something wholesome for the kids of Britain, hurrah!

millie bobby brown mind blown GIF by Converse

Well there you have it, I hope that’s opened your eyes a little bit to the daily struggles every British kid had to face. Sure, it’s not all bad… but, well, I can certainly understand now why our friends in the UK seem a little more repressed and traumatized all the time. What do you think Acidheads? Would, you be willing to give any of these shows a go? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to share this with your friends and family! AA x